NOT SORRY I WAS WRONG.
I expected to never marry, but I’ll be married three times by June. I expected to remain childless, but I’ve got evidence of my wrongness right over there in the next room, ten years on. I expected to earn my BFA. I expected to have the same tiny old house with the same daffodils and iris and yucca and peonies until I died with a trowel in my wrinkled hand, but that house is under the ground and I am not.
I expected to wrong less, to change my mind less, to hope less, to expect so little and stay somewhere known and safe. Alone seemed safe, not incubating a new human seemed like a good plan, considering the first main expectation of being alone, but I always sort of knew that I’d outlast that house. I just expected to put up a new one, secretly, a slightly expanded house-doppelganger in its place, with conveniences like fiberglass insulation and modern wiring and heat in every room, not just the one. Then, my family could visit the house and feel at home but surprisingly able to all fit in the kitchen at once for holidays instead of plotting rotating seating arrangements of four to five at a time.
That might have been a lot to expect, given my expectation of a degree in watercolors.